I’m nowhere near my goal yet. Not by a long shot. However, during this past week at the gym I’ve been feeling rather smug.
It wasn’t necessarily from completing “Week 7” with Woman, and nor was it the fact that I’ve been clocking up rather straightforward 8km runs in the wake of my recent 10km benchmark (yet to be repeated, I might add). It’s more of a feeling that’s overwhelmed me this week really.
I’d be there, on my treadmill (usually whilst Sarah is doing a spin class or similar), and I’d be merrily jogging along, minding my own business, when some guy or girl would hop onto the adjacent treadmill, cast a quick, yet very obvious glance across my data panel, and go on to crank their speed up a few notches above mine. I would just ignore it, and lo and behold, around 15 minutes later, they would desperately swipe out at the Stop button, and limp away.
And I’d carry on jogging.
It was the culmination of probably a dozen of those moments – watching other “runners” come and go whilst I continued – that told my brain that things were going rather well. And whilst my t-shirt was drenched through with sweat, I saw it as more of a badge of honour than an embracing bodily by-product.
The girls continue to annoy me at the gym. Today, my eye was drawn to one young girl, probably about 18, this time a bit overweight and not necessarily in the attractive camp. Ignored by the personal trainers as a consequence. She was sat on the leg press – which is the one where you sort of sit back and raise your legs up against a platform, and then push it up and out at an angle.
I had been on it earlier, and had done about 20 slow reps on the appropriate weight before my thighs started complaining. Meanwhile, watching this girl now, she was throwing this platform back and forth – with only her toes touching the platform – and playing with her mobile Facebook whilst she “completed” what looked like 60 reps. And then she waddled off without breaking a sweat.
I finished my workout on the rowing machines, and a pair of women were taking up the two machines on the end of the row. I had my headphones on, but I could tell they were holding a conversation. And whilst I was doing my best on the machine (which is in fact absolutely rubbish, as I suck at rowing) they were casually sliding back and forth at half my pace, gently tugging the chain bar. Fact: the chain bar is only as tough as you make it. It was absolutely pointless for them to even be holding the damn bar.
Do these people know that what they are doing is utterly pointless?
And then there is the damned bags all the girls now think they should carry round. There are lockers provided in the locker room, and on the gym floor. And yes, they do require you use your own padlock, but for crying out loud – today I clocked at least four big shopping bags slung around the floorspace of the bikes whilst girls used them. It’s not right, and it isn’t really safe either.
Anyway, enough ranting. I’m getting away from what this post was meant to be about. Being smug.
As I touched upon, I’ve just finished Week 7, which was four minutes running and two minutes walking for 60-70 minutes. My new pacing tactics have clearly paid off, and have no doubt contributed to my smugness. Week 8 – 5 minutes running and 1 minute walking for an hour – seems rather terrifying right now, and so I’m taking two rest days to prepare myself for the system shock.
I’ll report back after Friday. Somehow I doubt that I will be able to echo tonight’s sentiment then.